It's really that destiny angle that harms it for me. They're told by Spock Prime that they're meant to be friends, so it's like "we're friends huh" "yeah". It already doesn't come off like genuine friendship to me, but with the whole destiny angle it only really drives home how false their friendship feels. It's like how the Star Wars prequels try to drive home that Anakin and Padme are in love, but I'm not getting any of that no matter how much they say "I'm so in love with you!".
I think Prime Spock has the clearest and deepest lines about Kirk and Spock. Is that a mistake? Yes. Let it happen organically. Don't change Kirk's mind because old Spock told him that Young Spock should be his friend. What bothers me more than this, is that Kirk is too self-centered to have the type of relationship promised in Star Trek
(2009) by Leonard Nimoy.
This Kirk knows how to do one thing well: rely on his own instincts to get things done. I said awhile back that they needed the Conference table--why did Kirk stun their ride on the planet? He wasn't briefed on the mission and, therefore, he couldn't tell that was his ride.
Kirk does this all alone now. And that's not the job of a Captain. What's the point of having all this talent on the Enterprise if you never listen to anyone
? This is why I say he's not likable. He's arrogant; he thinks he's infallible. And that was fine for the first movie. He's young and we never saw a young Jim Kirk. But somewhere along the way, the rough edges need to be smoothed. How you write that into a script? Apparently, you have him lose as many people as possible on the Enterprise and have him take responsibility for things that are out of his control. He flies off half-cocked and almost loses his ship because he's bent on revenge. Still, he saves everyone by not listening to anyone but himself. Scotty says "don't do it!" and he does it anyway. Does he need to listen to Scotty in that moment? No. But it's consistent with a character that knows only how to do one thing.
I'm a basketball fan so I'm going to make an analogy. This is a superstar that doesn't trust his teammates. The reason Allen Iverson could lead the NBA in scoring all those seasons and never win a Championship, or sniff anywhere near the second of four rounds, is because he never relied on his teammates. He tried to do it all himself. Anyone who tried to get him to not take 30 shots a game (where 18-20 would've been better, using him as a decoy to break down defenses) is because he only knew how to play one way. He's the only player on the court.
Meanwhile, someone like Tim Duncan has 4 rings. He's never led the league in scoring. He's been MVP, but it was controversial when he won it. He's the centerpiece, but other players like playing with him.
Kirk doesn't rely on his team. And, therefore, I never see greatness in him. For all of his abilities, he doesn't know not to stun his ride. He's got the broad strokes--a home-run hitter that can't get on first base--but he doesn't work within the team concept.
With one movie to go, I don't see this changing in time for the next movie (unless we never see the change, the most interesting arc for Kirk). Considering they will probably only do 3 movies, I don't think this is going to be a likable or great Captain. "But that was another life."